Stories Still to Tell

Hopefully this isn't goodbye. But with the way things are in this economy and in this world today, I'm being forced to take a break from this column. We hope it can come back in the fall. Meanwhile, I'll be putting my reporter’s hat back on and writing i

Jun 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Hopefully this isn’t goodbye.

But with the way things are in this economy and in this world today, I’m being forced to take a break from this column. We hope it can come back in the fall.

I’d like to keep writing it online on my own blog: Check for a link to it under the Columns tab. Meanwhile, I’ll be putting my reporter’s hat back on and writing in the news section.

I love being a journalist more than anything I’ve done ever in my life. Thank you to the many, many people who have written me or told me in person how much they enjoyed my column over the past 18 months. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.

Though technically I’m only half-German, that seems to be my dominant side. We Germans have a reputation for cutting to the chase, not pulling punches and telling it like it is — sometimes in a way that might do more harm than good.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from my 84-year-old German immigrant grandmother, it’s that love comes in many forms — sometimes as an off-handed putdown or a giant busted bubble that seemed like the best idea in the world. It’s our way of building you back up again. I love you, Cincinnati, and always will — no matter how I express it.

As I sign off from this print edition, I have so many more stories to tell. This town is full of them. I got to tell quite a few over the past 18 months and know there are more to uncover.

Here are a few I’ll be watching in the coming months and wishing I could write about here:

Streetcars: I was a naysayer about this concept early on, but I’ve come around and think this is one of the biggest opportunities for our region in years. Let’s not blow it and let this chance pass.

City Hall: I say this every election, but this fall’s Cincinnati races will be especially good. Can Greg Harris keep his job even though he’s showing signs that City Hall can wear you out? Will Vice Mayor David Crowley step down early? Will voters return all incumbents again? Will another candidate emerge to challenge Mayor Mark Mallory? If so, what will a mayoral primary look like? And really, in the end, will any of it matter?

Journalism: As newsrooms, including CityBeat’s, cut back and struggle, will the public ever realize that this lack of resources actually does matter? Will they understand that without journalists their elected officials and public companies aren’t held accountable?

Washington Park and Over-the-Rhine: The park is about to undergo a major change that will further the amazing progress in the neighborhood I called home for nearly five years. As I embark on a move back, I can’t wait to watch the progress and be a part of it.

WVQC: The new low-power FM radio station Media Bridges will launch in August has the potential to change the local airwaves. With WAIF-FM in shambles, there’s literally no choice when it comes to radio stations with all-local programming. We’ll soon have it again, and with professional management.

Firefighters: I’ve always wanted to see what it was like to spend 24 hours in a firehouse, learning what these wonderful people do and how they do it. They’ll go on protecting us — I just won’t get to write about it here.

Murder: The murder rate so far this year is much better statistically than recent years, but I won’t be satisfied until there are no murders in Cincinnati, especially drug-related ones.

I’ll miss the willingness of CityBeat editors to print the nasty cusswords I like to interject in my columns. No other publication I’ve ever worked for would. That fuckin’ sucks. See ya, for now.

Contact Joe Wessels: [email protected]